The Stella Stardust Interview
“Unusual”, “shocking”, and “double take worthy” are just a few words to describe the work of professional artist, Stella Stardust.
Originally from the UK, Ms. Stardust grew up in a town called Amersham. Living on the edge of the hustle and bustle, Stella found herself moving back and forth between the center of London. Eventually, Stella moved to America and now currently resides in Long Beach, California.
“…The rat-run of London was very draining, and counterproductive for my creativity.” she wrote.
“I’ve only been here for a couple of months. California is a crazy place. Los Angeles seems to be an extra concentrated area of nuts! I’m not used to it yet, but it is warming on me. The opportunities for art here are fantastic and the city has an abundance of incredible and talented creatives. Not to mention, fantastic art galleries – it’s definitely exciting!”
The sculptures and drawings tap into the weird and wild world of dark imagination. Pop culture references like Beetlejuice, Beavis and Butthead, Prince, and Marilyn Manson can be found throughout her collection.
“I get inspiration from the unusual and the macabre. I find there can be a certain beauty and delicacy in some of the darker things in life, and I like to pull from that. I really appreciate and get inspiration from certain darker artists such as Micheal Hussar, Ivica Stevanovic, Kevin LLewellyn and not to mention the very undark Nick Park!”
Nick Park created the very well known and loved Wallace and Grommet – a stop motion, claymation series created in 1989. When browsing through Stella’s Instagram, you can find playful videos of her creatures in action.
“I remember being about 5 or 6 in age, creating characters from salt dough and making stop motion animations with them on my bedroom window sill. I’d turn Dad’s jumbo-normous camcorder on and off for each shot (I think it had been made in the late 80s so was about the size of a ghetto blaster). Definitely not a hand held camcorder; more of a shoulder resting device.”
Stardust’s creations are commonly sculpted wall mounts, humorous and similar to that of taxidermy. She also designs custom creatures, trinkets, and hand-drawn pieces turned into stickers or pins.
“I predominately use polymer clay for my sculptures. The process of making a 3D creation consists of having some form of structure underneath the clay. Usually that will be constructed from wire, tin foil, chicken wire, and wood or something of a similar medium. I usually form a base from one of those and sculpt the character on top. I use acrylics to paint the sculptures and an abundance of different glazes and sealants to give it the final touches. It’s incredibly important to have a high quality finish on the eyes as that will completely transform the creation, giving it soul and life. I have a wild sense of humour. I find so many things funny in this world and I think that’s a spin I have on most of my creations.”
“I also offer merch – stickers and pins. The designs have been completely hand drawn and hand painted. The only part that includes a computer in my process is scanning them in and emailing them off to be printed, so I can put them out for you guys to enjoy.”
With such a large portfolio, What is Stella’s favorite piece?
“I don’t think I have a favorite piece – sometimes I think I have a favorite but I’m constantly evolving and learning things. You might feel really proud of a piece one week, then it could seem amateur or not as exciting the next. That is something that I think many artists find frustrating. In the eyes of the artist, your work is never good enough and actually – Never will be! Ha! How tormenting is that?! On the flip side – that leads to a constant wanting to improve and in turn, we do. Every time you turn a corner, it’s an exciting achievement and keeps you going… until next time.”
At the end of the day, we all want to leave an impression on the people we run into throughout life. Artwork like Stella’s, with all it’s curiosity and mysticism, must be a thrill to see in public or amongst vendors!
“Seeing people’s faces and reactions at conventions and shows can make my head tingle! When you are sitting alone like some crazed hobbit in the corner of your studio day in and day out, you can lose sight of whether your creations are working… whether people will get your vision. You can get some idea of how people are excited by your work when you post on social media but it never has the same impact as when you see people’s reaction in real life.”